The memory of every crew member who served aboard the USS Colorado is important to his shipmates. The USS Colorado Alumni Association continues to honor their memories through our publications, memorial services, and memorials established across the United States. This section describes these memorials, followed by a listing of our shipmates killed or missing in action. KIA/MIA Other shipmates who were wounded in action and died later –some during the war and some later as a result of service to their country–are included in the listing under TAPS.
(Click on pictures to enlarge.)
USS COLORADO MEMORIAL, Veterans Memorial Museum
On May 18, 2003 a new plaque was dedicated in memory of the USS Colorado and her crew beside the 5 inch 51 caliber gun from the ship. The gun was acquired by the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society when the ship was scrapped. It stood for 40 years at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. The plaque, a memorial service, and display in the museum were joint projects of the museum (MOHAI), the society (PSMHS), US Navy League, Seattle, and shipmate Andy Andresen. See Album page 25.
In 2011, the gun was moved to the Veterans Memorial Museum in Chehalis, Washington.
USS COLORADO MEMORIAL BENCH, State Capitol Grounds,
This memorial was dedicated on March 21, 1997 with Colorado Governor Romer, shipmates, and other dignitaries in impressive ceremonies. It is a marble bench with the inscription “Dedicated to the men who served aboard the USS COLORADO BB-45” and lists major battles. It is placed by the east entrance of the State Capitol and balances another memorial bench placed by the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. The drive to establish this memorial was led by shipmates Isidore Gefroh and Francis “Dan” Daigle, and Norris Hermsmeyer of the University of Colorado Naval Alumni.
MUSEUM OF THE PACIFIC WAR, ADMIRAL NIMITZ HISTORICAL PARK, Fredericksburg, Texas
A plaque which honors those killed in action while serving aboard the USS Colorado was dedicated and imbedded in the memorial wall on the museum grounds. In addition our members have endowed the Nimitz Foundation so that a wreath will be placed near the plaque each Memorial Day. We have donated additional funds to recognize the USS Colorado (BB45) on the wall designated as “Friends of the Nimitz” located in the George Bush Gallery of the Pacific War. Individual shipmates are also honored on bricks and plaques throughout the grounds.
Shipmates Joe Ware and John Henry Winn began a tradition of impressive Memorial Day services and mini-reunions each year since the plaque was dedicated. Other military units have joined the ceremonies to make this a very special tribute to all those who gave their lives. The tradition has been continued by Ken Jones and Tom Lyman with the support of other Texas shipmates and the Nimitz Museum.
UNIVERSITY MEMORIAL CENTER, University of Colorado
In 1947 Colorado Governor Knous proclaimed the University Memorial Center as the official state memorial to those who died in war to preserve our democratic freedoms. The Veterans Lounge was established on the 2nd floor, and artifacts which are on display include the ship’s bell and ship’s wheel from the USS Colorado. Our association has donated a model of the BB-45 which is now displayed with the bell and wheel and memorial plaques. On November 11, 2003 a Veterans Day ceremony was held in the Glenn Miller Lounge of the University Memorial Center. This was followed by a reception in the Veterans Lounge. Shipmates Ken Jones and Isidore Gefroh, and Duane Menor, son of shipmate George Menor, represented our association. The Veterans Lounge is located near the reception desk and the Glenn Miller Ballroom. On November 11, 2004 our association presented the USS Colorado “Sunday Flag” to the Center. See Album page 26.
TEAKWOOD WALLS, Boeing Developmental Center Cafeteria
On May 26, 2004 employees of The Boeing Company dedicated a new plaque on the teakwood walls honoring the men of the USS Colorado. Pamela Valdez, Ryan Jutte and others from the F/A-22 Raptor program at the Developmental Center planned the memorable ceremony, luncheon, and tour. The dedication was attended by association members and families in the Seattle area, together with employees of The Boeing Company. See Album page 26. In 2013 the Boeing company donated the teakwood decks to the SeaTac Airport USO, to be installed by April 2014.
UNITED STATES NAVY MEMORIAL
Washington, D. C.
The Navy Memorial Foundation has built a memorial to all of those who served in the Navy through all the various wars and actions in which the Navy and Marine Corps took part. This memorial features the statue of the “Lone Sailor” on a large entry plaza on Constitution Avenue.
The Arleigh and Roberta Burke Theater in the Naval Heritage Center shows a wide screen-motion picture spectacular, “At Sea”. The theater itself is a memorial to those individuals, units, squadrons, and ships whose names are commemorated through sponsorships of individual seats. The members of the USS Colorado Alumni Association have sponsored one of the seats and a brass plaque is mounted on the chair honoring our ship. It is in Row A Seat 7. In addition many of our members are now enrolled in the U. S. Navy Memorial Log which can be accessed through the web.